(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "[untitled] The American Historical Review, (1899-12-01), pages 362-367"

STOP 



Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 
purposes. 

Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early- 
journal-content . 



JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 
contact support@jstor.org. 



362 Reviews of Books 

The ground was furrowed and the seed was sown broadcast, when? 
George Fox came to Rhode Island in 1672, to nourish and to garner in 
the crop. Early in his visit he crossed the Bay to Narragansett and held 
his first meeting, probably at Jireh Bull's block-house on Tower Hill. 
Four years later, at the same place, the forces of Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut mustered and moved out to crush the great tribe of Narragansetts 
in the swamp fight. The bloody track of the Puritans and the gentle 
way of the Quakers crossed on the beautiful slopes of Tower Hill. We 
could not have a state without the one, nor any liveable society without 
the equivalent of the other. 

The Narragansett meeting extended its outposts over the whole South 
County, and even to Stonington in Connecticut. Miss Hazard tells its 
story in seven topical chapters. The aspirations of the spirit were heav- 
enly, the meddling of the "overseers " was something worse than earthly. 
To "Deal timely with such as walk Disorderly" meant mischief. The 
Friends dominated Narragansett in the eighteenth century, and they 
frowned upon the courts and legal methods, as they did upon all the 
functions of an established state. Yet probably there was never a more 
litigious community than was developed there. 

About 1 76 1, they received a manuscript copy of the English book of 
discipline, which became the basis of their action. There was a deep 
beneath a deep in matters spiritual, which the "New Lights" claimed 
■to fathom. Two Friends dealt with a man who "has lately joined in 
their (the Separates' ) Worship so far as to Stand up with his Hatt off in 
the Time of their Praying." Persecution built up the Friends as a sect ; 
when it ceased their system waned. 

We may regret that these records yield no more matter of direct his- 
torical interest. The accomplished author has drawn out the best. It 
is mostly an account of narrow domestic life and petty discipline. The 
high spiritual ideal of Friends of the seventeenth century could not stem 
the invading influence of a widening civilization. 

W. B. W. 

The Story of the Revolution. By Henry Cabot Lodge. (New 
York : Charles Scribner's Sons. 1898. Two vols., pp. xv, 
324; xii, 285.) 

This work may be regarded as one of the latest contributions to the- 
gratification of the prevailing taste in our country for military stories and 
pictures. It is dedicated however to what may be considered even in 
these warlike times as a special class: "The Army and Navy of the 
United States, victors of Manila, Santiago, and Porto Rico, worthy suc- 
cessors of the soldiers and sailors who under the lead of George Wash- 
ington won American independence." 

Neither service will expect to find the literary work of a civilian, 
however accomplished he may be as a writer and a statesman, replete 
with lessons in strategy and tactics or military policy. One should not 



Lodge : The Story of the Revolution 363 

be surprised to find in the first volume of this work a list of illustrations 
covering six pages followed by a list of maps that does not take as many 
lines ; and in the second volume a three-page list of illustrations without 
any mention of a map. The second volume does however contain three 
maps. The work is devoid of any general map of the colonies or of the 
British possessions in North America. The illustrations are mostly works 
of the imagination or out of date. No references or authorities are given. 
Figures and dates are scarce. 

The reader will be charmed with the author's graphic and vigorous, 
•often eloquent language. But he may be influenced by it to pass over 
unscannedor unquestioned statements of doubtful meaning or correctness. 
Referring to the beginning of the war, "The First Blow," the author 
says (I. 27, 28) , " If one wishes to explode a powder magazine it is sen- 
sible to fire the train which leads to it. But if one does not desire to 
explode gunpowder, it is prudent not to throw lighted matches about in 
its immediate neighborhood. The British acted on the superficial aspect 
•of the case without considering ultimate possibilities and results. They 
kept lighting matches to see whether the explosive substances under their 
•charge were all right and finally they dropped one in the magazine. ' ' 
In literal terms this would read about as follows : The British continu- 
ally resorted to arbitrary force to assure themselves that the colonists 
would resent it and at last certain colonists resented it with force and so set 
the country in revolution. This is certainly a novel explanation of the 
way in which the war commenced. In every case of revolution or re- 
bellion the government in power has to choose between force and diplo- 
macy. If it chooses diplomacy, it must not, for the time being, resort 
to force. If the revolutionists prepare to use force, the government 
should content itself with making similar preparations, keeping pace with 
the enemy, and if possible getting a little ahead of him. Such was Lin- 
coln's policy at the beginning of our civil war and such McKinley's or 
Otis's at the beginning of our present war in the Philippines. The respon- 
sibility for the first blow in each case was thrown upon the enemy. The 
British, on the other hand, precipitated the war of American revolution 
by trying to get possession of a paltry supply of muskets and gunpowder 
which they could have offset by the cargo of a single transport and of a 
couple of leaders whom, for the time being, they should have regarded as 
purely political factors in a purely political contest. 

The diplomatic side of the war is treated clearly, fully, and brilliantly. 
The political side is made equally interesting and impressive, but in one 
respect seems incomplete, for the author says nothing about the ma- 
chinery by which the first Congress had been called into being or by which 
the governments of the several colonies were transformed into govern- 
ments of independent states. He hardly refers to a committee or coun- 
cil of safety or a convention. But the political essence, the great central 
fact, of the revolution, the Declaration of Independence, he discourses 
on in his most felicitous and most effective style. His discussion of Jef- 
ferson's conception and literary execution of the Declaration of Indepen- 



364 Reviews of Books 

dence is a combination of feeling and logic, which, like the noble subject 
of which it treats, should be read by every one who wants to be thrilled 
with "the spirit of '76." A specially effective piece of description is 
the chapter entitled " How Peace was made," in which the command- 
ing character and intellect of Franklin are the salient features. 

The author fails, as historians generally have done, to take a large 
enough view of the theatre of war. No one can justly appreciate the 
grand strategy of the Revolution without an appreciation of the geography 
of North America as determined by the Quebec Act. The advantage of 
the course and valley of the Hudson as a line of invasion is imperfectly 
indicated from a lack of appreciation, it would seem, of its location with 
reference to Europe on one side and the great Indian territory governed 
or controlled from Detroit on the other. That Great Britain relied upon 
communication with Europe and the co-operation of Indians was an im- 
portant factor in its estimation of the strategic importance of the Hud- 
son valley. 

The author says : " The first military and political object of England 
when actual war came obviously would be to divide New England from 
the middle colonies by controlling the line of the Hudson River to the 
lakes lying on the border of Vermont and New York. The key of the 
position [he must mean for the British] was the fortress of Ticonderoga 
which commanded the lakes and in this way the road from Canada to 
New York harbor." In reality Ticonderoga, a point on the line formed 
by Lake Champlain, Lake George and the Hudson, simply blocked the 
passage up and down the natural line of travel and operation. It did 
not cover either the lakes or the Hudson against an attack either from 
the East or West. It could not prevent a passage across the great line of 
intended partition. It did not command that line in any sense that en- 
titles it to be called "the key of the position." Nor was the line in 
question a "position." To call it one is to betray a misconception of 
the plan of operation. It was the line by which the territory of the 
revolted colonists was to be cut in two, but it was not simply to be won 
and held. Moreover, the isolation of New England, if accomplished, 
would not have crippled it, and would have been but the beginning of 
its conquest and subjugation. The experience of the North in isolating 
the greater part of the South in the Civil War and proceeding to conquer 
it shows about how far isolation goes toward breaking the spirit and 
destroying the resources of a people. 

It is great injustice to Burgoyne to say, as the author does (I. 230), 
that the British ministry gave him everything that he wanted. It did 
not within 25 per cent, give him the force which he wanted, and asked 
for, and represented as necessary. 

Schuyler and Gates are compared with each other and, as usual with 
historians, to the advantage of Schuyler. Into the merits of this com- 
parison it is not worth while to go. Whether or not Gates was as good 
a soldier as Schuyler, he was not such an "old woman " as certain his- 
torians try to make him out. Ever since the history of our Revolutionary 



Lodge: The Story of the Revolution 365 

war began to be written, Gates has been held up to scorn and contempt 
because at the first battle of Saratoga he did not reinforce Arnold so as 
to enable him to win a decisive victory. Gates had his army jn a posi^ 
tion of his own choice which had been skilfully and laboriously prepared 
for defence. Arnold, seeing the enemy approach, could not control his 
impatience for a fight. He sent out Morgan's riflemen and some light 
infantry to check him. The advance-guard affair thus brought about 
should, according to most critics of the battle, have determined Gates to 
abandon his intrenchments, come down from the commanding ground on 
which he stood, plunge into the low -lying woods through which the 
British were advancing, and engage in a general offensive operation. If 
these critics are right, Lee made a mistake in receiving Burnside's attack 
on the heights of Fredericksburg. He should have come down onto the 
flats that lined the Rappahannock and closed with the enemy there. 
Meade should not have waited at the ridge at Gettysburg for Pickett's 
division to work its bloody way up to his lines, but should have met it in 
the bottom of the valley. Thomas should not have remained at Nash- 
ville, while Hood was forcing Schofield back upon him ; he should have 
abandoned his fortifications and gone to help Schofield win a decisive 
victory at Franklin. If Gates made a mistake on the occasion in ques- 
tion, it was in sending forward as many men as he did, and he probably 
did not send out any until he saw that his plan for a defensive action had 
been thwarted. Opprobrium has been heaped upon him for relieving 
Arnold afterwards from command. If Gates erred in this instance it was 
in not having Arnold court-martialed. 

The author finds fault with Gates further as follows : " Instead of fol- 
lowing up his advantage and attacking Burgoyne, he sat still and looked 
at him." When about three years later he threw himself, imperfectly 
prepared, upon the advancing enemy at Camden, and so sacrificed his 
army, was he not perhaps impelled by a recollection of the unreasonable 
criticism of his caution in the Saratoga campaign ? When an enemy is 
cornered or invested, there are two ways of disposing of him or killing 
him off, one by bombardment, fusillade, or assault, in short, by destruc- 
tion, one by depriving him of food and water, in short, by starvation. 
Destruction works quicker than starvation, but, except in point of time 
is more costly. What is more important, it involves a large element of 
chance, while starvation is absolutely certain. Great commanders have 
generally favored a combination of both methods, placing their chief re- 
liance, however, in starvation. Such were Gates's tactics, when he had 
Burgoyne surrounded at Saratoga, and it is confidently asserted that no 
one in his place could have subjected the enemy to greater discomfort of 
mind and body than he did. 

The author foregoes all allusion to our breach of the " convention " 
which Gates made with Burgoyne, and leaves the reader under the im- 
pression that the officers and men who surrendered and agreed not to 
serve again against America were allowed, as the convention stipulated, 
to go to England, and set an equal force free for service in America. 



366 Reviews of Books 

The point of the whole story, the net military result of the campaign, is 
thus imperfectly presented. 

American as well as British historians have severely condemned the 
action of Congress in repudiating the stipulation that the British prisoners 
should be allowed to return to England. Congress had the right to re- 
view the agreement made by its general, and it was their duty to approve 
or disapprove of it as might seem to them to the interest of the people 
whom they represented. Burgoyne should have known or understood 
that the convention was not a perfect compact until ratified by Congress, 
and that if he anticipated its ratification or approval, he did so at his 
own risk. 

Gates is justly criticized for giving Burgoyne the terms which he did 
instead of insisting upon unconditional surrender. He gave Burgoyne 
substantially the terms which Shafter gave Toral at Santiago, but he was 
not justified by either of the two facts in Shafter' s case that the Americans 
commanded the sea, and that the terms were approved by the President 
before they were finally settled. It may, however, be questioned, whether 
Gates's concession was due as the author implies (I. 258) to lack of force 
or aggressiveness. It seems to have been due simply to imperfect appre- 
hension or consideration of the element of sea-power in the enemy's case. 

The Results of Saratoga form an interesting chapter on foreign rela- 
tions and diplomacy. The next chapter, "Fabius," which closes the 
first volume, is devoted chiefly to the operations of Washington's army 
during the campaign at Saratoga, and carries the war on to the battle of 
Monmouth. The importance of Washington's achievement, preventing 
both Clinton and Howe from helping Burgoyne, is properly dwelt upon. 
The author says of Howe (I. 282) " He was not thinking of Burgoyne, 
did not understand the overwhelming importance of that move- 
ment. ..." The real cause of Howe's inaction with reference to Bur- 
goyne was his confident belief that Burgoyne would not need his assist- 
ance, provided that Schuyler, whom he thought throughout the opera- 
tions in question to be in command, was not assisted by Washington. 
Howe meant by his movement on Philadelphia to keep Washington, if 
possible, from joining Schuyler, and if not, to give up Philadelphia and 
go after Washington. He meant to attract Washington or to follow him 
and neutralize him, wherever he might go. As both Washington and 
Schuyler were between Howe and Burgoyne, Howe's plan was radically 
defective. Howe could hardly keep Washington from slipping away 
and joining Schuyler in time to crush Burgoyne before Howe could inter- 
fere. Much less could he prevent Washington from detaching fractions 
of his army to reinforce the Northern army. That Howe's plan, as 
regards Washington, had the appearance of working well, was due to t'he 
fact that Washington confidently believed that Schuyler did not need his 
assistance. Hence neither Washington nor Howe allowed his attention 
to be diverted from the other by occurrences in the North. 

The author inveighs against the "inhuman scheme" of employing 
Indians to ravage the frontier and raid the settlements, but does not allude 



Tucker : The Constitution of the United States 367 

to the fact that the colonists tried to employ Indians against the British 
and did so about as far as they were able. He might have contented 
himself with remarking that the general military situation made it impos- 
sible for the colonists to reach the enemy's country, and that there was a 
difference in the use of savages between leading or inciting against regu- 
lar troops and turning them loose upon old men, women and children. 

The second volume opens with an account of Clark's expedition, in 
which the author ascribes to Clark the fact that " when the treaty of peace 
was made at Paris, the boundary of the United States went to the Lakes 
on the North and to the Mississippi on the West," and closes with a dis- 
cussion of the meaning of the American Revolution, in which he recog- 
nizes and endorses our present policy of expansion. An appendix is 
made up of the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris, and 
Washington's Address on resigning his commission. There is a full 
index. 

John Bigelow, Jr. 

The Constitution of the United States ; A Critical Discussion of its 
Genesis, Development and Interpretation. By John Randolph 
Tucker, LL.D., late Professor of Constitutional and Inter- 
national Law and Equity, Washington and Lee University. Ed- 
ited by Henry St. George Tucker, Professor of Constitutional 
and International Law and Equity, Washington and Lee Uni- 
versity. (Chicago: Callaghan and Co. 1899. Two vols., 
pp. xxviii, 518 ; v, 519-1015). 

The author of these volumes was born in Virginia in 1823, and died 
in 1897. He belonged to the generation of the Civil War and to the 
younger set of men who witnessed an attempt at secession and its failure. 
During his life he occupied a prominent position as a lawyer and a public 
man. He was at one time attorney -general of Virginia, for twelve years 
a representative in Congress and for some years before his death a profes- 
sor in Washington and Lee University. The manuscript of this work, 
left unfinished by the author, was edited by his son. The volumes con- 
tain fourteen chapters, but may be reasonably divided into three parts. 
The first is within the domain of political science or political philosophy ; 
the second part is somewhat historical in character, dealing with the 
origin of the constitutions of England and the United States ; the third 
part is a discussion of the principles of constitutional law. 

The work has many faults, some of which, probably the majority, are 
attributable to the fact that the author seems not to have revised his 
manuscript and that the editor has not corrected even palpable and ob- 
vious errors. If the editor had the right to turn over to the publisher 
his father's unfinished work, he certainly ought to have had the right to 
correct conspicuous blunders which it must be presumed the author him- 
self would not have suffered to stand. Perhaps some of the errors are 
due to inefficient proof-reading and did not appear in the copy at all ;